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Sinn Fein tell British government to act on Collusion and demilitarisation

22 March, 2004

Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator, Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness MLA speaking today before meeting between Sinn Fein and NIO Minister John Speller has said that the British government has failed to act on meeting commitments on Collusion and the publication and implementation of the Cory Report, on the issue of demilitarisation and the issue of falling voter registration.

Speaking before Sinn Fein met NIO Minster John Speller today ahead of the meeting tomorrow with the Taoiseach and British Prime Minster tomorrow Mr McGuinness said:

"The British government must publish the Cory Report. It is not good enough to publish the censored version, people need to see the Cory Report in full. More importantly the British government must act on the recommendations of the Cory Report. They gave this commitment at Weston Park and there is no excuse for any further delay.

"The failure to tackle the wider issue of collusion is also a matter of deep concern. The PSNI has seen the wholesale transfer of those from the RUC who were active participants in the policy of collusion. Human Rights abusers remain at the heart of the PSNI.

"Six years ago the British government committed themselves to a programme of demilitarisation. Today we have not seen the progress that was promised. Communities are still blighted by the presence of the British Army, their watchtowers and barracks and we see evidence of increased levels of British Army activity on the ground and in the air.

"There is also widespread concern that the electoral legislation introduced by this British government is effectively disenfranchising thousands of voters. This is undemocratic. There should be an onus on assisting people in the democratic right to vote not a concerted effort to get people off the register. ENDS

Note to Editor

The delegation to meet John Speller will include Bairbre de Brún MLA, Gerry Kelly MLA, Conor Murphy MLA and Alex Maskey MLA.

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